Higher Education program giving many students hope for college - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Higher Education program giving many students hope for college

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

A hot topic during the President's speech was on free higher education for all students.

President Obama says it's time to give everyone the chance to get a degree, without worrying about the student loans.

“To make sure folks keep earning higher wages down the road, we have to do more to help Americans upgrade their skills,” said President Obama.

Tennessee's Promise is the first program of its kind, giving Tennessee students the chance to go to a community college, for free. Now the President is stepping on board and is working to do the same thing for the entire country.

By the end of this decade, two in three job openings will require some higher education. Two in three and yet, we still live in a country where too many bright, striving Americans are priced out of the education they need. It's not fair to them, and it's not smart for our future.

Brittany Bussey is a senior at Howard High School. She says without programs like these, she doesn't know how she'd pay for college.

"I was really concerned about the money situation because college is expensive and I didn't know where it was going to come from," said Bussey.

While she has the support from her mother; “I didn't want to put all of that money and stress on her, I was just thinking about doing it myself," said Bussey.

But now it's one less thing she has to worry about, at least for a few more years.

Robert Cobb on the other hand says he had planned to go to a four year school. But now, he's going to take advantage of the free schooling.

"I had never heard of a college where you can go two years for free," said Cobb.

He says it also gives him time to adjust.

"Stress from the work they give you. I know it's going to be a stressful road but through the end you'll be glad that it's over and you'll have a great education," said Cobb.

“I want to spread that idea all across America, so that two years of college becomes as free and universal in America as high school is today. And I want to work with this Congress, to make sure Americans already burdened with student loans can reduce their monthly payments, so that student debt doesn't derail anyone's dreams,” said President Obama.

The America's College Promise program will be available to students of all ages and will save students $3,800 in tuition. Students of any age would have to go to school at least part time, keep a C+ average and make steady progress toward their degree.

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